Armed with loaves of white bread, pulled pork, and antacids, our Food staff sampled nearly 100 bottles of barbecue sauce to distill the pack down to this sweet, smoky, vinegary baker's dozen.

Gettin' Saucy
2012 'Cue Awards: Best Barbecue Sauce
| Credit: Jennifer Davick

Night of the Living Bar-B-Q Sauce
Kansas City, KS. For chipotle fans: fiery yet sweet; $4.

Lambert's Sweet Sauce O'Mine Original
Olive Branch, MS. Honeyed tomato with a touch of apricot; $3.50.

King's Famous No. 2 Barbecue Sauce
Petersburg, VA. A tart, assertive blend of mustard, tomato, and vinegar; $4.

Okie Steak House Barbecue Sauce
Stroud, OK. Sweet and thick with a chili powder kick; $5.

BBQ Fight Club Kickin' Chicken White Sauce
Nashville, TN. A peppery come-back sauce; $9. 615/329-1234

Hillsdale Bank BAR B.Q. The Sauce (Hot)
Hillsdale, KS. Thick, sweet, and smoky; $4.

Saw's Sauce
Birmingham, AL. Just right: not too sweet, hot, or vinegary; $5.50.

Whole Hog Cafe Sauce #2
Little Rock, AR. Lightly smoky tomato-vinegar with a warm finish; $7.

Hog Heaven Barbecue Sauce
East Brewton, AL. Sweet and balanced; $4. 800/865-2262

Abe's Bar-B-Q Sauce
Clarksdale, MS. Zippy with a punch of Worcestershire; $23 for 3 pt.

Harold's Hog Wash
Fayetteville, TN. A clove-tinged, authoritative mustard; $6.

Jim's Own Mild Barbecue Sauce
Cary, NC. Sweet, peppery tomato with subtle floral notes; $6.

Wadmalaw Island Barbecue Sauce
Wadmalaw Island, SC. A bright and peppery twist on a classic mustard sauce; $5.

Want to get creative with your cookout? Try one of our favorite homemade BBQ sauce recipes.